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EU states agree on military operation in the Red Sea

Caption: The frigate "Sachsen", sister ship of the "Hessen", The "Sachsen" fires an anti-aircraft missile

The EU states have agreed on a military mission in the Red Sea. The mission, with German participation, is to start as early as February.

This was announced by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell after a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. The mission is intended to help protect merchant shipping in the Red Sea against attacks by militant Islamist Houthis from Yemen.

Since the end of last year, the Houthi movement, which is financed and equipped by Iran, has been attacking ships on the international shipping route between the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal. According to its own statements, it wants to force an end to the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

According to current plans, the EU wants to send European warships and airborne early warning systems to protect cargo ships in the region. There are no plans to participate in US attacks against Houthi positions in Yemen, however.

“Hessen” to become part of the EU military mission

Germany intends to send the frigate “Hessen” to the crisis region(we reported), provided that the Bundestag issues a corresponding mandate. Ships of the type F127 are specially designed for escort and maritime surveillance.

In view of the risk, almost all shipping companies are now avoiding the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Hapag-Lloyd and Tailwind Shipping Lines, the shipping division of the Lidl Group, also route their freighters on the long detour around the Cape of Good Hope, which extends transit times by around ten days. In future, Hapag-Lloyd will also offer a land connection as an alternative route.

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